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      MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH: Careers a top cause of stress among under-25s

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      According to a study by UK Youth, young adults, aged 18-25 spend more than six hours a day ‘stressed out’, but 1 in 10 feel they have no one to discuss their concerns with.

      Ahead of Mental Health Awareness Month this October, Fresh Student Living has delved into the factors causing stress among young people, including the most stressful careers.

      Top Causes of Stress Among Young People

      • Academic pressure and uncertainty about the future
      • Loneliness/homesickness
      • Social media 
      • Finances
      • Work/Careers

      Unsurprisingly research reveals that the most stressed age group is those falling into the “university age” bracket of 18-24-year olds. However, while millennials have been dubbed the “burnout generation”, 18-35 year olds are most likely to be concerned about money and work.

      The Most Stressful Professions

      Once entering the world of work, graduates are faced with a secondary layer of stress – finding a job. YouGov revealed 81% of students feel pressure to find a job within six months of graduating. To add to this, a survey by Perkbox revealed that work is the most common cause of stress, with over half of adults (59%) experiencing this, while two-thirds have sleepless nights because of it.

      A survey on stress levels across the UK revealed the top 10 stressful professions, which would mean the most anxious students would face further challenges around mental health going forward:

      1. HR: 79%
      2. Legal: 63%
      3. Retail, Catering & Leisure: 54%
      4. IT & Telecoms: 53%
      5. Healthcare: 52%
      6. Education: 51%
      7. Sales, Media & Marketing: 48%
      8. Architecture, Engineering & Building: 47%
      9. Finance: 46%
      10. Arts & Culture: 44%

      Women are more stressed than men

      According to a recent wellbeing survey, 79% of UK women are stressed compared to two thirds of men, with 10% admitting their stress is ‘unmanageable’. Of the two sexes, women are more likely to stress about finances, as the gender pay gap causes women to retire on pensions that are a fraction of men’s.

      Further research also reveals female students more likely to admit they have a mental health problem than males (34% vs 19%).

      Combatting Stress and Focusing on Mental Health

      Poor mental health leads to burnout, fatigue, and can also result in irregular moods, feelings of anxiety and reduced focus; eventually taking its toll on relationships and physical health as well. While many young people turn to short term methods of coping, a more sustainable and healthy strategy can help deal with long-term effects.

      • Exercise: A walk, jog or session at the campus gym will get the blood pumping and endorphins flowing.
      • Focus on the present, instead of rethinking about any mistakes that you may have made.
      • Talk about how you’re feeling, whether it’s to a friend, family member or seek advice from a counsellor or GP. 
      • Listen to music: Put on some of your favourite tunes to give your mood an instant lift.
      • Set up a phone call or video chat with your loved ones back home, to catch up and help you feel more connected. 
      • Take a break from social media and make time for yourself on a daily basis to rest and recharge. Whether it’s taking a hot shower, cooking a healthy meal or just spending some time outdoors.

      Diane Gault, head of fundraising at YoungMinds, Fresh Student Living’s preferred charity states: “Though [social media] can have many benefits; such as helping young people to express themselves and offering them the opportunity to build communities that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to, it also puts pressure on them to establish a personal ‘brand’, to be constantly available, and to seek reassurance in the form of ‘likes’. We’re grateful for the generous fundraising from Fresh PG, which will help us continue our work fighting for young people’s mental health.”

      Image by PDPics from Pixabay